A Bangladesh court upheld a government ruling banning marriage between its citizens and refugees from Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya minority, who have fled ethnic violence in the neighbouring country.
Than Zaw Aung also insisted that the arrests amounted to entrapment by police, who had contacted them for a meeting in Yangon to hand over documents about the situation in northern Rakhine. Prosecutors are seeking charges that could impose a maximum prison sentence of 14 years, according to the reporters' lawyer. "The EU reiterates its call on the Myanmar government to ensure transparency and to make serious efforts in order to hold accountable all those involved in serious human rights abuses in the context of the ongoing crisis in Rakhine state", it said. Several had the message "journalism is not a crime" or "release the arrested journalists now" on their T-shirts.
It was a rare admission of wrongdoing by the Myanmar military during its operations in the western state of Rakhine.
On his way out of the courtroom in north Yangon on Wednesday, Wa Lone learnt that his wife was expecting their first child.
The magistrate said the police force has only sued the two journalists and the two police officers were excluded from it and the proceedings for their cases will be carried out by other respective authorities.
Distraught relatives of Kyaw Soe Oo wailed and reached out to grasp him as the two journalists were driven away from a throng of reporters after the hearing.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were in handcuffs when they arrived in court. "We view this as a wholly unwarranted, blatant attack on press freedom", said Stephen J Adler, president and editor-in-chief of Reuters. "Our colleagues should be allowed to return to their jobs reporting on events in Myanmar".
Who Is Edgar Ray Killen? Klansman, 'Mississippi Burning' Perpetrator Dies In Prison
Killen's government case finished with a hung jury after one hearer said she couldn't convict an evangelist. Killen, 92, was serving three consecutive 20-year terms at the facility, the Los Angeles Times reported .
"The media freedom that is so critical to rule of law and a strong democracy requires that journalists be able to do their jobs", said a statement from the State Department.
"As the villagers and security troops confessed to the killings, they will be prosecuted according to the law", it reads. "But we can say that only after seeing how the documents were written and submitted to the court", U Than Zaw Aung said.
The US Embassy in Myanmar led reaction to the court decision, expressing disappointment and calling for the "immediate release" of the reporters.
These insurgents have now been bolstered by wider worldwide support to the refugees, including from the United Nations and is reported to be looking for arms support to fight the Myanmarese security forces, say reports.
The government of Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, could not resolve the problems in ethnically and religiously divided Rakhine without the collaboration of military leaders and the nation's former leaders, Saw Hlaing, executive member of the California-based Burmese American Muslims Association, told the Myanmar Service of Radio Free Asia (RFA), a sister entity of BenarNews. The Times reports the two Reuters journalists now in custody had been investigating the circumstances surrounding that same grave.